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14 of the most useful Linux websites

Looking to learn more about open source and free software? You can't go far wrong with our list of sites

Where to get your fix for Linux, open source and other kinds of free software

There's no getting around it - the world of open source/free software is pretty Balkanised. So much so, in fact, that many leading lights can't even agree on what to call the sprawling ecosystem of non-proprietary software. This means it can be far from obvious where to go for the best possible information on the topic, whether you're trying to learn some Linux basics or keep up with the latest developments. Here's a brief overview of the most useful open source websites that, we hope, will help take you from "what's a kernel?" to "I have a favourite distro."

Kernel Newbies

The engine behind every version of Linux is the "kernel" - a basic framework that allows applications to interact with the computer's hardware. Kernel Newbies, as you might have guessed, is a great resource for those looking to gain a better understanding of the fundamentals of Linux, with an active and helpful community.

Linux Questions

Like Kernel Newbies, Linux Questions is a site that prides itself on maintaining a modicum of civility - an important point, as the Linux world in general isn't famous for its patience with those a bit slow on the uptake. If you need to ask some questions without worrying too much about being snarked at by experienced users, LQ could be a good bet.

Ubuntu forums

The best-known consumer distribution of Linux has its own encyclopedic support forum, including a handy "absolute beginners section" for, well, absolute beginners. If you're looking for entry-level help with Ubuntu or a related variant like Xubuntu or Kubuntu, look no further.

Reddit

The well-known discussion site has several sub-reddits that frequently feature Linux-related topics, including r/OpenSource, r/Technology and (obviously) r/Linux. Plenty of very knowledgeable folks around, though you should be prepared for some ill-tempered flaming on occasion.

LWN.net

One of the major news sources for the Linux community, LWN.net features a combination of quick-hit links to interesting topics and original articles, although the latter are placed behind a paywall for their first week of publication. Paid subscribers also get to turn off advertisements and get stories via email.

Phoronix

The brainchild of Linux developer and evangelist Michael Larabel, Phoronix has evolved from a specialty gaming site to a general Linux hardware news source. In addition to news and review content, there's a software repository and a reasonably active forum.

Linux Magazine

Business-focused Linux Magazine is another font of dedicated open source news coverage, featuring in-depth articles, reviews and commentary.

The H Open

German publishing house Heinz Heise's English-language site The H Open publishes breaking open source and free software news, as well as previews and interviews.

DistroWatch

DistroWatch aims to be a clearinghouse for many types of information about Linux distributions, but it might be best known for its rankings, which are calculated by the number of views a given distro's information page gets. It's seen as an informal and highly unscientific gauge of which distros are "hot" at a given moment.

The Linux Documentation Project

Need a how-to on setting up a Web server? Guide to network administration? The Linux Documentation Project's got you covered. Get reading!

GitHub

Built around Git, an efficient version control system for software designed for use with open source projects (by no less than Linus Torvalds), GitHub is a massive online repository of code. It's difficult to overstate its importance to open source development.

GNU.org

"GNU's Not Unix," as the oh-so-clever recursive acronym says, but GNU.org is still an integral part of the free software world. The site is a clearinghouse of news and information about the GNU Project, which is a movement toward strictly free software, to the exclusion of anything copyrighted or proprietary in any way.

Planet Gnome

Blog aggregator Planet Gnome pulls together entries from a wide range of writers on open source, free software and other topics, and presents them in an ongoing stream. It can be a bit overwhelming, but there's lots of good stuff to read here.

Stallman.org

The godfather of free software and one of the most influential thinkers in the world of computing, Richard Stallman has a personal site which is a fascinating read if you found GNU.org whetting your appetite for more about software freedom. While he's undeniably eccentric - some might find the left-wing polemics a little much, and heaven help you if you use the term "open source" instead of "free software" around him - his more digitally focused work is highly thought-provoking.

  • Where to get your fix for Linux, open source and other kinds of free software
  • Kernel Newbies
  • Linux Questions
  • Ubuntu forums
  • Reddit
  • LWN.net
  • Phoronix
  • Linux Magazine
  • The H Open
  • DistroWatch
  • The Linux Documentation Project
  • GitHub
  • GNU.org
  • Planet Gnome
  • Stallman.org
  • Play
  • Play
  • Backward
  • Forward

Where to get your fix for Linux, open source and other kinds of free software

There's no getting around it - the world of open source/free software is pretty Balkanised. So much so, in fact, that many leading lights can't even agree on what to call the sprawling ecosystem of non-proprietary software. This means it can be far from obvious where to go for the best possible information on the topic, whether you're trying to learn some Linux basics or keep up with the latest developments. Here's a brief overview of the most useful open source websites that, we hope, will help take you from "what's a kernel?" to "I have a favourite distro."

There's no getting around it - the world of open source/free software is pretty Balkanised. So much so, in fact, that many leading lights can't even agree on what to call the sprawling ecosystem of non-proprietary software. This means it can be far from obvious where to go for the best possible information on the topic, whether you're trying to learn some Linux basics or keep up with the latest developments. Here's a brief overview of the most useful open source websites that, we hope, will help take you from "what's a kernel?" to "I have a favourite distro."

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